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Boss AD-10...any experiences or opinions?


Jinder
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Hi all,

I’ve used a ton of effects in my acoustic setup for many years-I’m getting tired of failing patch leads, dodgy daisy chains and all the usual problems with boards that do a ton of work though, and have had my head turned by the Boss AD-10 pre/EQ/fx/looper setup.

 

Has anyone used one of these? I did a tour a couple of years back with a chap who was using the Boss AD5 with a Guild JF-55 and his tone was superb-I can only imagine the newer kit is even better. For on the fly, grab-and-go gigs this seems ideal.

 

Any opinions/experiences/thoughts gladly received and deeply appreciated as always!

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Thanks, V!

 

I took the plunge and pulled the trigger on one...I also ordered a TC Helicon Voicelive 3 as I want to expand my palette of vocal effects too, and try to recreate my studio EQ, compression and verb for live shows.

 

A bit of a splurge financially, but it will all earn its keep.

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Sorry, I am too late as you have bought the farm, but you seem to have bought 2 similar products.

 

 

I have the Boss VE-8, which has both acoustic guitar and vocal sections with underlying access to menus for all the things you need. I had, and sold the TC Play Acoustic, which is all menu driven, whereas I like the Boss with knob controls for main functions.

 

Have you tried a Boss VE8? I love it. (it is still a box of gadgets and they all have foibles, ie. you can set a sound and save it (50!!!), but only as a number....6 months down the road and no idea what you did!) So I set it as needed these days....guitar from Tonedexter to input, Shure SM58 to add reverb, delay etc - it would be a brave person to start up live without checking them settings.... :rolleyes: I think some gremlins like hanging around waiting ....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Sorry, I am too late as you have bought the farm, but you seem to have bought 2 similar products.

 

 

I have the Boss VE-8, which has both acoustic guitar and vocal sections with underlying access to menus for all the things you need. I had, and sold the TC Play Acoustic, which is all menu driven, whereas I like the Boss with knob controls for main functions.

 

Have you tried a Boss VE8? I love it. (it is still a box of gadgets and they all have foibles, ie. you can set a sound and save it (50!!!), but only as a number....6 months down the road and no idea what you did!) So I set it as needed these days....guitar from Tonedexter to input, Shure SM58 to add reverb, delay etc - it would be a brave person to start up live without checking them settings.... :rolleyes: I think some gremlins like hanging around waiting ....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

Interesting thoughts on the VE8, thanks BK-I’ve tried the VE8 and liked it very much, the only reason I didn’t go for it is because I need independent EQs for both vocal and guitar and to give them separate signal paths and outputs as for smaller gigs I’ll be going directly to the two inputs on my Alto 800w powered speaker...so in effect I need both units to function as independent channels of a mixer, with individual EQ, reverb etc. I also really like the feedback elimination circuitry of the AD10 and the fully featured EQ. plus FX loop. I don’t expect much from the acoustic resonance circuitry but if it’s not up to much I can always run my Aura 16 in the loop.

 

I plan to run the Voicelive 3 in the loop of the AD10 too, so I can use the guitar-led vocal harmony features and try some of the guitar effects that the Voicelive has to offer. I’m all about expanding my palette for my upcoming tour and the combo of the two seems to offer maximum versatility. I think front-ending the whole thing with a Tonedexter would be a grand plan too when finances allow...

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Keep the (paper) manuals in your guitar case, only advice I can give!

 

No idea about the AD10, but the VE8 has multi function controls. I guess the AD10 will too. ie, if I hold down the exit and loop buttons together, the whole top of the VE8 becomes eq for both guitar/vocal sections, including adjusting the mids by 2 different methods.

 

(Since I have had the Tonedexter, I prefer running the guitar through the Boss VE8 with no effects but use reverb and delay and enhance and .....all I can do for the vocal!) I still use the 2 channels to balance the mix of guitar/ vocal...then run it in stereo to my mixer. Grab the manual again and you can reconfigure the Outs to all kinds of ways......stereo out, 2 monos out, all to left mono for guitar amp etc....

 

Now I don’t know about the ethics of using harmonies from a pedal live...but boy oh boy, it is fun at home! Probably learned something too, don’t know what. Like the one harmony a third higher, sometimes with the humanise setting it sounds like Keef!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Keep the (paper) manuals in your guitar case, only advice I can give!

 

No idea about the AD10, but the VE8 has multi function controls. I guess the AD10 will too. ie, if I hold down the exit and loop buttons together, the whole top of the VE8 becomes eq for both guitar/vocal sections, including adjusting the mids by 2 different methods.

 

(Since I have had the Tonedexter, I prefer running the guitar through the Boss VE8 with no effects but use reverb and delay and enhance and .....all I can do for the vocal!) I still use the 2 channels to balance the mix of guitar/ vocal...then run it in stereo to my mixer. Grab the manual again and you can reconfigure the Outs to all kinds of ways......stereo out, 2 monos out, all to left mono for guitar amp etc....

 

Now I don’t know about the ethics of using harmonies from a pedal live...but boy oh boy, it is fun at home! Probably learned something too, don’t know what. Like the one harmony a third higher, sometimes with the humanise setting it sounds like Keef!

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

I’ve had a few harmoniser units in the past (Boss VE20, limited as no guitar tracking but good tone-I nearly bought another of these instead of the Voicelive 3-and the Boss VE2, has guitar tracking but mine had chronic latency on the harmonies)

 

My approach is to get in a rehearsal room with a full PA and sort of do preproduction work with these sorts of effects, basically start with the kitchen sink thrown in and gradually dial it all back until it’s subtle but effective.

 

I love winging in subtle harmonies on middle eights just to lift things a little. I fronted a harmony led trio for years and it often raises a chuckle with audience members when I tell them that I either imprisoned my two former bandmates in a small metal box, or part exchanged them for Android versions of themselves, so they’d eat less of the rider and I knew they wouldn’t turn up drunk!

 

The AD10 has a lot of sub-features which require a good memory to access, but I really only need presets for three or four songs so that hopefully simplifies things a bit. I’ll definitely keep the manual handy!! I’ve already downloaded it in PDF form and have had a good squizz at it, but I’ll never remember it all.

 

I gather the Voicelive has a steep learning curve too, but hopefully I won’t need too much deep editing to find a good starting point with it. I’ve had great experiences with TC Helicon stuff in the past so I’m looking forward to getting to grips with it.

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I cannot WAIT to hear how you get on with yours. Some tips, but first, a question. Which of your guitars and the electronics do you anticipate using this with?

 

OK, so the tips from a long bit of test driving with my Hummingbird using the Anthem Mic/UST system and my Taylor 614CE with the ES2 sound system.

 

#1: Keep in mind that they had a Piezo without a pre-amp in mind when they designed some of the controls, which included the Input sensitivity and resonance features. This is backed up clearly in...

 

#2: There is a 4-part video series on the Sweetwater site's product page for this unit. I highly recommend watching this one. Sweetwater Product Page Link

 

3: In that series, he mentioned following the manual's instructions on setting up the input sensitivity knob except when using an onboard pre-amp. In that case, he said to start near the bottom and just dial in a decent level and back of a bit when it starts sounding harsh. (I'm paraphrasing, obviously).

 

#4: Start with the feedback reduction amount at zero until you have the levels near where you want them. It can mistake tone for feedback and slam down the signal. Imagine a compressor set to 20:1 with a 30ms attack and a full second release. Ugly stuff.

 

#5: If using a traditional piezo system, the resonance is a great place to start once the overall levels are set. They say this was designed for piezo everywhere, and I had mostly negative results.

 

#6: The phase switching and the noise suppression functionalities show up in the manual as little "memo" bullet points in the 4-step instructions on EQ'ing each channel distinctly.

 

#7: If you have an instrument that does not get along all that well with the rest of the system, but do not want to have to pack up a whole separate plugin chain or something, running the guitar straight into the "Return" will bypass just about everything. IIRC, the Output volume is still functional. (phew)

 

#8: Not much is linear in the tone stack. Depending on where you are in a knob, it could be traditional volume control or it could adjust the slope of the gain change or even change the frequency focus. Obviously you want to use your ears, but don't discount experimenting the full range of the knobs. The next tip is related...

 

#9: If you have a DAW or something with a full-range spectral analyzer down to at least -110db, you can see the volume effects of any of the functionality. It is especially useful when trying to understand what the Presence knob does. Turn up the input sensitivity temporarily and don't play the guitar. The air in the room will begin to show up at some point. Then you can see everything.

 

#10: The Q value that is set in the Deep functionality of the mid-button is very powerful and useful.

 

#11: OK, one more. The manual notches are very powerful and useful. It covers the next harmonic in line. (did I say that right?) Select a B2 and the B3 will also get notched. Their "Deep" function lets you manage the depth. The default is a massive amount, and is in the middle of the range. I'm in a small room with a big guitar running a mic as it's pickup and hitting it hard enough to get some minor feedback I didn't want. a 3 (out of 20?) was borderline too much.

 

That's prolly enuff for now. I hope you get on with yours. Good luck!

Edited by PatriotsBiker
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I cannot WAIT to hear how you get on with yours. Some tips, but first, a question. Which of your guitars and the electronics do you anticipate using this with?

 

OK, so the tips from a long bit of test driving with my Hummingbird using the Anthem Mic/UST system and my Taylor 614CE with the ES2 sound system.

 

#1: Keep in mind that they had a Piezo without a pre-amp in mind when they designed some of the controls, which included the Input sensitivity and resonance features. This is backed up clearly in...

 

#2: There is a 4-part video series on the Sweetwater site's product page for this unit. I highly recommend watching this one. Sweetwater Product Page Link

 

3: In that series, he mentioned following the manual's instructions on setting up the input sensitivity knob except when using an onboard pre-amp. In that case, he said to start near the bottom and just dial in a decent level and back of a bit when it starts sounding harsh. (I'm paraphrasing, obviously).

 

#4: Start with the feedback reduction amount at zero until you have the levels near where you want them. It can mistake tone for feedback and slam down the signal. Imagine a compressor set to 20:1 with a 30ms attack and a full second release. Ugly stuff.

 

#5: If using a traditional piezo system, the resonance is a great place to start once the overall levels are set. They say this was designed for piezo everywhere, and I had mostly negative results.

 

#6: The phase switching and the noise suppression functionalities show up in the manual as little "memo" bullet points in the 4-step instructions on EQ'ing each channel distinctly.

 

#7: If you have an instrument that does not get along all that well with the rest of the system, but do not want to have to pack up a whole separate plugin chain or something, running the guitar straight into the "Return" will bypass just about everything. IIRC, the Output volume is still functional. (phew)

 

#8: Not much is linear in the tone stack. Depending on where you are in a knob, it could be traditional volume control or it could adjust the slope of the gain change or even change the frequency focus. Obviously you want to use your ears, but don't discount experimenting the full range of the knobs. The next tip is related...

 

#9: If you have a DAW or something with a full-range spectral analyzer down to at least -110db, you can see the volume effects of any of the functionality. It is especially useful when trying to understand what the Presence knob does. Turn up the input sensitivity temporarily and don't play the guitar. The air in the room will begin to show up at some point. Then you can see everything.

 

#10: The Q value that is set in the Deep functionality of the mid-button is very powerful and useful.

 

#11: OK, one more. The manual notches are very powerful and useful. It covers the next harmonic in line. (did I say that right?) Select a B2 and the B3 will also get notched. Their "Deep" function lets you manage the depth. The default is a massive amount, and is in the middle of the range. I'm in a small room with a big guitar running a mic as it's pickup and hitting it hard enough to get some minor feedback I didn't want. a 3 (out of 20?) was borderline too much.

 

That's prolly enuff for now. I hope you get on with yours. Good luck!

 

Wow, that’s extremely useful stuff, thanks so much PB! I can’t wait to get my hands on mine. I plan to use my J180 with the Baggs Element VTC pickup installed, although I’d really like to switch to passive pickups in all of my acoustics eventually, so it’s good to know the AD10 would be a good front end for that!

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No Probelm, Jinder.

 

I forgot to mention one other video on you tube that I thought was useful, though quite long. A German fellow with a bit of eccentricity going I had to watch it in segments, but he did have some good intel. Probably worth looking at it after you've had it a few days. He covered a few things that were quickly glossed over in the manual.

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No Probelm, Jinder.

 

I forgot to mention one other video on you tube that I thought was useful, though quite long. A German fellow with a bit of eccentricity going I had to watch it in segments, but he did have some good intel. Probably worth looking at it after you've had it a few days. He covered a few things that were quickly glossed over in the manual.

 

Thanks PB-that was a very interesting video. I like the AD10 so far but have barely scratched the surface in terms of getting the best out of it.

 

The only thing I dislike is that the looper doesn’t have an “undo” function. I’m running it with an FS5U for stop/clear but was hoping it would let me undo layers as per my EHX 720. I can live with that though!

 

My only question which hasn’t beenanswered by the manual or online is about the mono/stereo switch for output routing-if I’m using the XLR outputs, does switching to mono allow me to just use one of the XLR outs or does it just turn off any panning on the spatial effects, still necessitating both XLR outputs to be used for a full sound?

 

Ideally I just want to come out of one XLR out into one of two inputs on the back of one of my powered speakers. The Voicelive 3 goes into the other and therefore bypasses the need for a mixer...in theory.

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Thanks PB-that was a very interesting video. I like the AD10 so far but have barely scratched the surface in terms of getting the best out of it.

 

The only thing I dislike is that the looper doesn’t have an “undo” function. I’m running it with an FS5U for stop/clear but was hoping it would let me undo layers as per my EHX 720. I can live with that though!

 

My only question which hasn’t beenanswered by the manual or online is about the mono/stereo switch for output routing-if I’m using the XLR outputs, does switching to mono allow me to just use one of the XLR outs or does it just turn off any panning on the spatial effects, still necessitating both XLR outputs to be used for a full sound?

 

Ideally I just want to come out of one XLR out into one of two inputs on the back of one of my powered speakers. The Voicelive 3 goes into the other and therefore bypasses the need for a mixer...in theory.

I have not played with the ambience, delay or chorus effects much at all. I was very focused on trying to get my basic sound going. I do know that I can use the one XLR on Mono. On the Line Out instructions, it said to use the right channel. I assumed I could do no worse than to do the same for XLR. The are instructions for output levels of the Ambience (reverb) differently to XLR and to Line Out. I can't imagine how that could be of any use for what you're doing, though.

 

Good luck!!

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Okay, after the first three gigs with the AD10 I’m impressed, but with some caveats...

 

I really like the tone shaping capability, compression, tone-tailorable boost and the feedback zapping functions (which are a bit overzealous and extreme but great if used gently).

 

I find some of the functionality a little confusing though-it’s really hard to tell at a glance if the far right footswitch is set to tuner or loop mode. I do a faIr bit of looping and twice during today’s gig I went to hit the looper and muted my guitar instead! I think I need to think a little more about switching assignment, or just leave it set to looper and front end the board with my TU-3W. It seems a shame to not use the perfectly good built in tuner though-I’ll figure something out.

 

I wish the looper had an undo function...not a major gripe as I don’t often need to undo a mistake, but I do sometimes like to keep a looped rhythm going and add/remove layers as I go. I’m perhaps expecting too much of a simple 80sec looper, mind you.

 

The acoustic resonance is good, but not as tonally significant or effective as my Aura 16. I may well end up running the Aura in the effects loop of the AD10, but I’ll cross that bridge in times to come.

 

All in all, it’s a super versatile and extremely useful bit of kit-I’ve explores the deep editing functionality and have spent hours at home tweaking and refining my plugged in sound. So far I’ve only used the J180 with Baggs VTC with it, but next up I want to experiment with my Fishman equipped Hummingbird and SJ200. I like the Baggs pickup but it has quite rubbery attack transient and is also exceptionally hot-I have to turn the input gain on the AD10 down all the way and wind the onboard volume back to keep the red light on the gain VU LEDs from lighting up like Christmas. I may well end up putting another Matrix infinity iin the J180 at some point if the Fishman equipped guits jive well with the AD10.

 

I’m glad I went for it-it will be a road-tough and useful addition to the board, the footswiitches being plastic worried me initially, but I’ve never had a piece of Boss gear fail me in 25yrs of playing, so I’m confident that the AD10 will be a trooper!

Edited by Jinder
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Congratulations on your first few gigs with the new unit. Sounds like they were mostly successful.

 

I hope they write a Tone Studio version for this unit some day. I looked again this morning to see if they had released any hardware updates or a Tone Studio version. I would LOVE to be able to move the FX loop around so that I could use the EQ section without having to go through the inputs.

 

My tone calmed a good bit with the Baggs SessionDI. I've not played around with sending a line-out from it into the AD-10 yet, but I will. It did clean up a noisy Sansamp that I have, though. That was nice, though not sure how I would use it. That's way off topic now. [rolleyes]

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